UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into green laundry products for UBC Vancouver residence Pezeshg, Bahar; Han, Don; Sandhu, Gurmehak Kaur; Piche, Isabelle


At the University of British Columbia (UBC), Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) is responsible for the housing of more than 8,000 students, faculty and staff. Laundry services are available in each residence at UBC’s Point Gray Campus in Vancouver. SHHS is looking for products that are environmentally friendly and will align with UBC’s commitment to the Water Action Plan (WAP) and the Sustainability Plan to introduce into residence laundry rooms and campus mini-marts. This report compares three laundry detergents: Tide® as the benchmark brand that is commonly used by students and eco-max® and Live for Tomorrow™ are the two green alternatives. The focus group for the investigation is students living in Place Vanier and Totem Park, the two first-year residences on campus. A student survey was conducted in these two residences and it is assumed that the results from this survey are indicative of the opinions of the majority of students. A performance test was completed to evaluate the functionality of the three products and compare the results. For the triple bottom line assessment, peer-reviewed journal articles were used to gather information about the environmental, economic and social aspects of these green laundry detergents. The use of both primary and secondary data allow for a complete analysis of green laundry detergents. Based on the results of the student survey, the performance test and the environmental impact of the three detergents, it is recommended to make Live for Tomorrow available to students, faculty and staff living in residence on UBC’s Vancouver campus. Overall, this brand performed better in environmental, economic and social terms compared to the two other brands investigated. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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